About this Specialization
100% online courses

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible Schedule

Flexible Schedule

Set and maintain flexible deadlines.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 8 months to complete

Suggested 2 hours/week
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Russian, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified)...

Skills you will gain

Interactive StorytellingGame Design DocumentVideo Game DesignGame Design
100% online courses

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible Schedule

Flexible Schedule

Set and maintain flexible deadlines.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 8 months to complete

Suggested 2 hours/week
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Russian, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified)...

How the Specialization Works

Take Courses

A Coursera Specialization is a series of courses that helps you master a skill. To begin, enroll in the Specialization directly, or review its courses and choose the one you'd like to start with. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. It’s okay to complete just one course — you can pause your learning or end your subscription at any time. Visit your learner dashboard to track your course enrollments and your progress.

Hands-on Project

Every Specialization includes a hands-on project. You'll need to successfully finish the project(s) to complete the Specialization and earn your certificate. If the Specialization includes a separate course for the hands-on project, you'll need to finish each of the other courses before you can start it.

Earn a Certificate

When you finish every course and complete the hands-on project, you'll earn a Certificate that you can share with prospective employers and your professional network.

how it works

There are 5 Courses in this Specialization

Course1

Introduction to Game Design

4.7
1,337 ratings
401 reviews
Welcome! This course is an introduction to the primary concepts of gaming, and an exploration of how these basic concepts affect the way gamers interact with our games. In this course you will understand what defines a “game” and the mechanics and rules behind different types of games. Through four linked assignments you'll learn ways to create and describe a game concept, and specifically what makes a compelling game. This course focuses on the conceptual underpinnings of games, and all assignments can be completed with a pencil and paper – no previous programming knowledge is required....
Course2

Story and Narrative Development for Video Games

4.6
636 ratings
157 reviews
In this course, you will examine how storytelling acts as a vital mechanism for driving video gameplay forward. Looking at several historical and contemporary games, you will be asked to evaluate and interpret different story styles with the goal of identifying themes and procedures for your own game ideas. We'll examine traditional narrative story processes, such as three-act structure, and how they fit into game story flows and the strategic elements of gameplay. Ultimately, you will learn how to define character, setting, and structure to create a compelling game concept....
Course3

World Design for Video Games

4.4
483 ratings
127 reviews
Start creating your world. A game world is not just a backdrop for your game—be it minimal or detailed, contained or part of a much bigger universe, it provides the context for your player. Ultimately, a game world should feel alive and wholly unique to any player who will experience it. In this course, we will explore game worlds in existing games and study the art and influences that inform their themes and styles. We will also investigate key components of environment and level design as well as strategies designers use to define gameplay or advance it. We’ll also look at navigation and the elements that make your world as real (or unreal) as you want it to be. A weekly challenge will prompt you to explore styles and inspirations for possible game worlds, and you’ll learn effective ways to communicate your ideas from concepts to presentation-worthy proofs of concept....
Course4

Character Design for Video Games

4.6
564 ratings
151 reviews
In this course you will explore concepts and approaches involved in creating successful character designs that can be applied to video games. Following a first week delving into some foundational concepts for successful character design, each of the remaining three weeks are structured as a master class where you will observe three professional character designers at work in the studio: Andy Ristaino (Adventure Time), Jacky Ke Jiang (Journey), and Robertryan Cory (SpongeBob SquarePants). Each designer will take on two different design challenges on the fly and address the various issues in designing characters for games, such as movement, expression, and technical limitations. At the end of each week you will have an opportunity to try out some of the concepts from that week's lesson on characters of your own design. This is a fun and engaging class especially useful for students interested in animation in film and TV as well as games, and is suitable for students of any drawing ability....

Instructors

Avatar

Fran Krause

Faculty, Character Animation
School of Film/Video
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Dariush Derakhshani

Faculty, Character Animation
School of Film/Video
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Théotime Vaillant

Instructor, Experimental Animation
School of Film/Video

About California Institute of the Arts

CalArts has earned an international reputation as the leading college of the visual and performing arts in the United States. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes! To get started, click the course card that interests you and enroll. You can enroll and complete the course to earn a shareable certificate, or you can audit it to view the course materials for free. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. Visit your learner dashboard to track your progress.

  • This course is completely online, so there’s no need to show up to a classroom in person. You can access your lectures, readings and assignments anytime and anywhere via the web or your mobile device.

  • This Specialization doesn't carry university credit, but some universities may choose to accept Specialization Certificates for credit. Check with your institution to learn more.

  • Time to completion can vary based on your schedule, but most learners are able to complete the Specialization in 6 months.

  • Each course in the Specialization is offered on a regular schedule, with sessions starting about once per month. If you don't complete a course on the first try, you can easily transfer to the next session, and your completed work and grades will carry over.

  • None! This Specialization is appropriate for anyone interested in learning more about video game design, character creation, and storytelling.

  • We recommend taking the courses in the order presented, as each subsequent course will build on material from previous courses.

  • Coursera courses and certificates don't carry university credit, though some universities may choose to accept Specialization Certificates for credit. Check with your institution to learn more.

  • You’ll be able to recognize and articulate foundational game principles; organize, present, and envision story concepts in outline pitches and storyboards; and create character designs. You’ll be equipped to conceptualize, develop, and present thriving worlds for proposed game titles through presentation art and written synopses or pitches.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.